Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 20 a bit of a variable day

Yes, after all the excitement of yesterday today was bit of a step down in terms of excitement both in what we did and the skiing conditions. One thing that slowed today down a bit was being stopped every few minutes by people wanting to hear about yesterday's avi, I guess that sort of thing is pretty close to the heart of every real skier on the hill. An update is that my lost ski hasn't turned up so I am on my old sally Shoguns unless I take advantage of the end of season bargains to look at something like a new pair of DPS's. In any event the guys in Patrol reckon they will find the old ski some time in May so let's see how things pan out.
Today dawned bluebird and although the official reports suggested 10 cms in the last 24 hours I reckon most of this fell during the day yesterday and we probably only got 2 cms overnight, if that. The base was up at 348 cms but as anyone will tell you the base figure is good for judging coverage and long term potential for the season but tells you nothing about the ski conditions. The temps on the way to the hill was -5 and a few degrees colder up top. The day was one of those where things warmed up in the direct sunlight but as there was no real atmospheric warming then anywhere out of the sunlight remained cold and in terms of a skiing surface bullet hard and icy.
We went to the Old Side for a poke round and found all the main runs in Lizard groomed as were those in Cedar bowl but the sign line was down at Snake Ridge so skiing ended at around Trilliam. In terms of surface it was soft powder snow from the Lizard high traverse but anything below Tower 6 trail was pretty ugly crud. This was true all across Boomerang and in the trees in Cedar Centre. After a few loops around Bow and Cedar Centre ( the return to Boom was always via lower North Ridge as Kangaroo is too ugly to open) we decided to go to the New Side.
Initially we were restricted just to White Pass and had several good loops through Knot Chutes which were getting a bit chunky but quite soft and Surprise Trees which were ok on top but tricky crust in the shadows. After several loops of Knot Chutes and even a few of the I Bowl, Gun Bowl, Pillows etc all of which were soft tracked snow they opened Currie Bowl but with Polar Peak closed.
We did three loops of Currie keeping an eye on Polar all the time and had good runs through Currie Glades and Anaconda Glades which were both soft and lightly tracked before heading out to Concussion for the lunch time run to base. Concussion just about typified today with great soft skiing on top, spring skiing through the chute and just after and hard bumpy skiing low down.
After lunch I took a loop of White Pass while deciding what to do and I had just decided to give Skydive a lash when they opened Polar Peak. They only opened the Polar Coaster side which was all ungroomed and had a sign line to keep everyone out of Grand Papa Bear but the soft snow windrows on top and the untracked runs were good fun. Of course things got tracked up pretty quick and after two runs Shale Slope was living up to it's name. We just spent the afternoon doing Polar loops and having a great time in soft snow. Best moment was when a visitor skied up to a Patroller buddy who was guarding a sign line which the poachers were trying to crash. He was standing in front of three signs saying "Closed" and the visitor asked - is this closed ? Sometimes I don't know where the patrol get their patience from.
As we neared closing we cut across into lower Papa Bear and had a very nice run down the soft avi debris which was there from the early morning control slides. The run to base was via Diamond Back and the final pitch was super slick ice and very off putting. Last run had to be Skydive despite all signs that it would be ugly. Only 4 of us were stupid enough to turn up and try it. I have to say it was the most ugly that it has ever been with a few turns of soft bumps then hard refrozen crud and ruts all the way down just getting worse the further you went in. A big hand for Dan, Kevin and Rod who joined me and survived.
A nice sunny evening to make the beers slip down well and then a quiet night in. Snow in the forecast but how much and when is bit more problematic.

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